The clocks change, the nights start to draw in, the mornings are dark and chilly and days out are replaced with duvet days; but what does that mean for our health and wellbeing?
It is well researched that here in the UK, as a population we are deficient in Vitamin D during Autumn and Winter, but why is it important that we supplement during this period?
The main symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency are fatigue, depression, muscle weakness, bone pain, getting sick easily, hair loss, loss of appetite and sleep issues. Now, when we couple this with Seasonal Affective Disorder and generally getting less movement in, there are huge crossovers which leads to a pretty tough winter.
So, how do we combat the winter blues?
Let's take a look at the pyramid of wellness:
Recovery and Sleep is the most important step, if you are not giving your body and mind a chance to recover, your immune system, nervous system and cognitive function is going to suffer. Give yourself a fighting chance:
Reduce screen time 20-30mins before bed
Wear blue light glasses to reduce stimulating the brain
Take a warm shower before bed to cool the body
Increase magnesium intake or take magnesium baths to promote recovery
The food we eat can either fuel us or fight us. Here at Feel Fit, we follow the 80/20 rule. You don't have to track every morsel or go without the foods you enjoy. Life is about balance.
80% nutrient dense, whole foods which contain a healthy balance of carbohydrates (carbs are not your enemy!), fats and protein. 20% not so nutrient dense, but food and drinks you enjoy.
Make it easy for yourself! Think about making the meals you eat during the day full of colour, with a protein and carb source and cooked in a healthy fat. This is what is keeping your brain and body alive, keeping your heart and mind functioning and fighting off the winter bugs.
Keep your heart and belly full of warm, nutritious food. Feed yourself with love.
Don't stress about the 20%, it's 20% full of life's little pleasures, the socialising with friends, cosy meals in with the family and Christmas nibbles. It's joy.
Exercise - Our favourite!
It is no secret that exercise is such a key component in keeping us healthy, in all of the ways! It gets a little harder during the colder months, but it is so important to keep us going.
It is tempting to stay in bed a little longer, to stay in the office during your lunch breaks and to get straight home to the heating and the TV, which don't get us wrong is just what you need sometimes!
However, on top of all the happy little chemicals exercise is proven to produce, our bones and heart health is at the top of the list of reasons to keep on moving!
Think about increasing your steps in the winter, parking a little bit further away from your destination, going out in your lunch breaks for a quick 5-10 minute walk, encouraging family to walk with you and remember, if you are walking in the dark, stay safe with reflective clothing.
Our Feel Fit classes are for everyone, and the most important aspect is our community. Winter can get a little lonely, but having an encouraging environment which feels good to be in can make getting out of the house to exercise just a little easier.
Not forgetting that most of our classes are also hybrid, which means you can log in from the comfort of your home (no kit required!). You take part in our in studio class, which means you get the class environment, the encouragement from our coaches and you don't need to battle the elements to keep moving.
Once you've nailed the basics; gotten sleep, eating nutritious food and moving your body, then start thinking about supplementing your lifestyle as a helping hand.
Again, we're about simplifying health here at Feel Fit, so you don't have to stock your cupboard full of bottles and potions.
Get a good multivitamin, extra Vitamin D and ensure you are eating nutrient dense food
The NHS recommend every adult has 10 micrograms of Vitamin D during the winter months, if you have darker skin this is especially important. You don't have to buy the fanciest supplement, just ensure the NRV is 100% and you are good to go.
Now remember, supplements are meant to supplement your lifestyle, not replace it.
Ensure you are eating plenty of:
Cow's or Soya Milk
Fortified cereals and oats
At the end of the day, we forget to take care of ourselves when our lives get busy. Don't give yourself a hard time for forgetting that you are important too, that's why we're here.....to remind you to come back to you
Look after yourself the way you would look after a child version of yourself:
Hydrate, Sleep, Eat and Move. Don't make it complicated, life is complicated enough
and if you need extra help, the Feel Fit team is always here to help